I tend to save some of my favorite lessons for the end of the year. This lesson is always a hit and is the perfect post field trip, post field day project. Believe it or not, tree house living is not just for kids! Tree houses are becoming more and more popular globally. A renewed passion for nature, combined with the growing availability of innovative building techniques and materials, has created a burst of imaginative treehouse construction on every continent.
I found this awesome book a few years ago that showcases some gorgeous tree houses from around the globe. The photographs are so beautiful the kids and I practically salivate over them and vow to devote our entire summer vacations to building our own elevated homes! For third graders, this project reinforces the concept of horizon line, foreground/background, architecture. I also emphasize perfecting colored pencil technical skills, showing the students how to layer and mix colors to create a gradient color effect.
We start with the horizon line and then set up our trees. At this point I have the students turn their paper over to create a "wishlist" of must haves that they would like to add to their tree house. From there, the architectural studies really begin to flow.